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HOME : Decorative Arts : Bohemian Glass : Pair of cranberry glass butter-dishes
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Pair of cranberry glass butter-dishes - CB.2855
Origin: Czech Republic
Circa: 19 th Century AD
Dimensions: 6" (15.2cm) high x 7.2" (18.3cm) depth
Medium: Glass


Location: Great Britain
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Description
Moser is a luxury glass manufacturer based in the city Karlovy Vary, in present day Czech Republic, a city previously known as Karlsbad in the north-eastern part of the region of Bohemia, in what was then the Austro- Hungarian Empire. The Moser company is well known for manufacturing stemware, decorative glassware, which is among the most collected of the 20th and 21st century decorative glass. From its humble origins as a polishing and engraving workshop, the company developed into a lead-free glass manufacturer lasting through for the past 160 years. The original company was founded in 1857 by Ludwig Moser, as a simple glass workshop initially concentrating on polishing and engraving blank glass pieces, on behalf of other prestigious glass firms of the time. The engravers followed long established Bohemian design themes with scenes of hunts, stags and wooded landscapes, which very much appealed to the indigenous population of Bohemia. It took the company a couple of years to begin designing and making its own art glass products. Ludwig Moser was able to develop a lead-free sodium-potassium glass, which was not only ecologically friendlier than the lead glass employed by all other manufacturers of the time, but also happened to be extremely hard and resistant, remaining until this day the basis of the Moser products. This fact contributed to an increased interest in the company’s products. At the Vienna International Exhibition of 1873 Ludwig Moser’s company was already 15 years old and not only well established but also renowned and was awarded a medal for merit, being also appointed the exclusive supplier of glass to his majesty the Emperor Franz Joseph I. The company would continue to obtain numerous other awards in the coming years, including medals at the World Exhibitions in Paris in 1879, 1889 and 1900, and the World Exhibition in Chicago in 1893. Ludwig Moser proved to be not only a master glass-maker but also a very astute business-man, by taking over a glass factory in the area Meierhofen bei Karlsbad in 1893 as to create, together with is two sons Gustav and Rudolph, a huge glass- manufacturing industry, employing more than 400 people under the name of Karlsbaderglasindustrie Gesellschaft Ludwig Moser & Söhne. Moser opened also a number of shops to sell his wares in the affluent areas of Karlsbad and then concentrated on the various spa towns where the waters attracted Europe’s aristocracy. In 1904 Moser received a warrant to supply the Imperial Court of the Emperor of Austria and in 1908 the company became supplier to the English king Edward VII. It was around that period when the company started using extensively the motto “Moser, King of Glass, Glass of Kings” as associated with its famous royal clientele who, in addition to Edward VII and the Austrian Imperial Court, included Pope Pius XI, Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, the king Luís I of Portugal and his spouse, Maria Pia of Savoy. The city of Karlovy Vary became occupied by Nazi Germany in 1938 after the Munich Agreement and the Moser family fled the country during this anti- Semitic period. During World War II the Moser Glass manufacture was taken over by the invading German government and all the workers you were jewish were interned into concentration camps. The glass workers who were left were put to work for the war effort and in a passive retaliation they managed to create for the tank windows flawed glass that would shatter on impact. After the war and because of its international reputation, the company was able to retain some independence during the communist era while the rest of the Czech glass industry was nationalised in 1948, being one of 15 companies granted a kind of autonomy by the Communist regime. Ludwig Moser was one of the few Czechoslovakian glassmakers to sign their pieces. He realised quite early on that an easily recognisable ‘trademark’ other than a signature could also become quite important to customers who wanted to show off their Moser glass in a showy yet discrete manner. Being inspired by the forests of Bohemia, he achieved this by using applied glass acorns, polychrome enamelled oak leaves, enamelled bugs and applied grapes. His other known distinguishing features included raised enamel birds. Moser was also influenced by the European art movements of the time and produced designs inspired by European Baroque works, Japanese ceramics and Islamic goldsmiths. He also created a thick coloured glass as well as molded clear glass with inclusions of coloured glass. Moser vases were often dark blue, purple and amber and had patterns cut into them in shallow relief. Moser created also clear glassware with purple or green glass carved into cameos. This deeply carved glass had extremely precise edges and was beautifully decorated with flowers and figures. Johann Hoffman was one of the early Moser designers. He often used opaque purple or black glass to create everything from goblets to bookends and particularly enjoyed the use of animal figures or female nudes in his masterpieces. In the years around 1890 the Moser glass manufacture introduced the use of gold leaf pressed between two layers of glass which were intricately decorated with floral patterns and flowers This complicated process is known as “Zwischengoldglas” and such glass pieces are signed with the Moser hallmark. In the 20th Century Moser produced a new range of glass called Alexandrite. This unusual glass was named after the stone alexandrite with its most distinctive property being that it can change it’s colour according to different lighting conditions. The glass appears lilac in natural sunlight or yellow artificial light which imitates daylight, and smokey blue in fluorescent/halogen light. This is due to the presence of Neodymium oxide (Nd²O³) in the glass, hence it is also known as neodymium glass. - (CB.2855)

 

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